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current conditions and trends in forest resources and the forest products industry.
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data on Wisconsin's forests.
Contact information
Andy Stoltman
Forest Inventory Specialist
608-266-6941

Forest Inventory and Analysis1996 highlights

Highlights of Wisconsin's fifth Forest Inventory and Analysis, completed in 1996.

Area of forestlands and forest types

Wisconsin forestland increased by 640,000 acres between 1983 and 1996.

  • 1983 - 15.32 million acres; 1996 - 15.96 million acres.
  • Forestland made up 46 percent of total Wisconsin land area.
  • Timberland area increased by 940,000 acres. 1983 - 14.76 million acres; 1996 - 15.70 million acres.
  • Forestland definition - Land area that is at least 16.7 percent covered by forest trees (or was in the past) and is not currently developed for nonforest use.

Forest ownership

Private individuals own 57 percent of the timberland area in Wisconsin.

  • 30 percent - government-owned
  • 7 percent - forest industry
  • 4 percent - private corporations
  • 2 percent - tribal lands

Area of forestlands and forest types

Hardwood succession is very evident. Acreage of aspen-birch forest type declined, while maple-basswood and soft maple-ash types increased. Maple-basswood was the most common forest type.

  • Aspen-birch forest type: 1983 - 3.8 million acres; 1996 - 3.4 million acres.
  • Maple-basswood forest type: 1983 - 4.1 million acres; 1996 - 5.3 million acres.
  • Elm-ash-soft maple forest type: 1.3 million acres; 1996 - 1.5 million acres.

Growth, mortality and removals

Number of live trees taller than 10-feet on Wisconsin forestland increased by 1.4 billion between 1983 and 1996.

  • 1983 - 8.4 billion trees; 1996 - 9.8 billion trees.
  • 1,700 live trees per Wisconsin resident.

Growing stock volume

Growing stock volume increased by 2 billion cubic feet between 1983 and 1996.

  • 1983 - 16.5 billion cubic feet
  • 1996 - 18.5 billion cubic feet
  • Conifers increased from 3.8 to 4.4.
  • Hardwoods increased from 12.7 to 14.1.

Growing stock volume of larger trees increased between 1983 and 1996.

  • Volumes of 5-9 inch diameter conifers and 5-11 inch hardwoods decreased from 8.7 to 8.3 billion cubic feet between 1983 and 1996.
  • Volumes of 9-15 inch diameter conifers and 11-15 inch hardwoods increased from 4.6 to 5.8 billion cubic feet between 1983 and 1996.
  • Volume of 15-plus inch diameter trees increased from 3.2 to 4.4 billion cubic feet between 1983 and 1996.

Growing stock average net annual growth exceeded average annual removals by 158 million cubic feet between 1983 and 1996.

  • 1983-96: Net growth - 490 million cubic feet; Removals - 332 million cubic feet. Removals were 68 percent of net growth.
  • 1968-83: Net growth - 491 million cubic feet; Removals - 221 million cubic feet. Removals were 45 percent of net growth.
  • Average net annual growth definition: average annual gross growth minus death due to natural causes.

Sawtimber volume

Sawtimber average net annual growth (1,681 million board feet) exceeded average annual removals (986 million board feet) between 1983 and 1996. Removals were 59 percent of net growth.

  • 1968-83: growth - 1,443 million cubic feet; removals - 609 million cubic feet. Removals 42 percent of growth.

Quality of sawtimber appears to have improved between 1983 and 1996.

  • Percentage of sawtimber volume in highest quality classifications (grades 1 and 2) increased from 28 percent in 1983 to 40 percent in 1996.
  • Much of the in-grade percent increase is due to the overall diameter increase in sawtimber. Grade 1 trees must be at least 16-inch dbh and grade 2 trees at least 13-inch dbh.
Last revised: Thursday July 02 2015